Home Depot, Homosexuality and Me
You work at Home Depot?!
That's what I got from some of my friends when they learned how I'm spending some of my retirement time. I thought at first that the horrified look was all about that weird opinion that I deserved better after being a pastor for forty three years. For the record, when in the service of the Lord, there are no menial jobs. "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men." Colossians 3:23 Indeed, I've had a blast trying to live up to this biblical principle. Amazing how it changes your attitude toward the most menial of jobs. Judging from my first three performance reviews it would seem my bosses are pleased too.
It turns out that my friends' surprise was over something else altogether. They couldn't believe I worked for a company that "supported" the gay agenda. My first reaction was to feel that if HD is as evil as they said it was, what better place for me to be? Didn't Jesus have a habit of eating with not-so-savory individuals?
It's delicate and personal for me
I don't come at this in a detached judgemental manner. See, a few years ago I lost a son to AIDS after living a gay life for 20 years. I was holding his hand when he took his last breath. I wear a wrist watch he gave me the Christmas after he died in November. Yes, he'd prepared his gifts knowing he probably wouldn't make it to Christmas. So before you pounce from whatever direction, know that you're treading on some tender ground.
Yes, it's wrong
I believe homosexuality is unnatural, self-destructive and wrong. The first two are self-evident to anyone not blinded by political correctness. To say it's wrong implies some standard by which to assess right and wrong. Mine is the Bible. Aside from various direct statements on the theme, the seventh commandment should be enough to show God's mind on the matter. "You shall not commit adultery." Exodus 20:14 That prohibits homosexuality? Read on.
Whenever God says, "Don't do something," it's positive is implied; conversely, whenever God says "Do something," its negative is implied. For instance, when He forbids us to steal, implied is a call to work hard and to be generous with our earnings. That's how the command is interpreted in Ephesians 4:28. "Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with is own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." So what would be the positive implied by the prohibition of adultery? You must promote both the purity and permanence of marriage as God designed it. Homosexuality fails that test.
So you think this way of interpreting God's commandments is a bit fanciful? No, it just applies to God's Word the same rules of interpretation we routinely practice in everyday life. My wife may call out, "Drive safely," as I wheel out of the drive. I instinctively understand that she means, "Don't do anything stupid on the road." A well deserved admonition, since I've had two fender-benders in the last two months.
So what do I do about Home Depot
Homosexuality isn't the only thing that is unnatural, self-destructive and wrong. So is smoking and greed and a thousand other practices our society takes for granted. If I avoided every engagement with companies and institutions that practiced something I deemed wrong, I'd be a hermit. Home Depot's policy is consistent with its commitment to diversity across the board. You'll see that there is a commitment to treat Hispanics, African-Americans, Asians and women fairly as well as homosexuals. I'm sorry HD buys into the politically correct notion that a chosen lifestyle is in the same ballpark with gender and race. But, like it or not, that position is consistent with our country's laws and current society's mores. I know some will quarrel with my calling homosexuality a chosen lifestyle, but that's another hub.
In but not of the world
Just before Jesus was arrested and crucified, He entreated the Father on behalf of his disciples whom He was about to leave. It's the true "Lord's Prayer" found in John 17. (What we usually call the "Lord's Prayer" should be called the "disciples' prayer" for it was a model prayer intended for his followers.) Jesus is concerned that his disciples be united and protected during the time in which He is not physically present. Though he will leave them in the world, He asserts, "They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
That's the position Christians find themselves in. We are necessarily in a world that is corrupt and dying but we are not of it. That means that our source of strength, our sense of identity, our guidance and loyalty lie beyond this world, in the court of heaven. God has not called his people to change the world, but to live faithfully in it until He returns to change it himself. It gets hard and it feels lonely. Jesus also said, "Lo, I am with you always." If that's the case, a lifetime in this world ain't so bad!